Agnes of France (C. 1128 - 1143) was Byzantine Empress from 1139 until her execution in 1143. Agnes was the youngest daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII of France, Agnes was a strict princess, she had no sense of humor and took everything seriously, when her father died, her mother briefly took her to Normandy, but Agnes was put in the care of Isabella of Touraine, Agnes's mother married Henry II of England who offered Agnes a home in Yorkshire, but Agnes turned it down, when Agnes turned 8, she had a much better sense of humor and was described as a sweet natured Princess. Agnes's mother married Agnes to Alexios II of Byzantine as a part of the Franco-Byzantine alliance, Agnes was given the title Irene Cheksitia of Byzantine, Agnes was very popular in the Byzantine Empire, but very unpopular with her husband and his mistresses, at a young age Agnes was married to him (Age 10.) When Agnes was 12 her husband imprisoned her and took her children away, Agnes had a few more children before her husband fell madly for Zoe Rene, a Byzantinian noblewoman, Agnes was let out only to go on a crusade. When Agnes turned 15, her husband made a false crime against her accusing her of having an affair with a dashing knight name Issaco Kneievs, Issaco was burned at the stake, Agnes was publicly beheaded, to prevent scandal and her mother coming for revenge, he blamed a knight that he murdered her, after the death of Alexios the truth was spilled that Agnes was beheaded on his orders, 100 years after he execution, she was named Martyr and Saint by the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Early Life

Early Life

Agnes born in 1128 in Orleans in the kingdom of the Franks, Agnes was very beautiful, she looked a lot like her father, and she was her fathers second favourate after her older brother Prince Louis, she was the youngest daughter of Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine. A year after her birth her father died of unknown causes (Its possible he was poisoned.) Agnes was briefly brought to Normandy while her sisters and mother were on there way to England, Agnes was to young to travel according to there mother, so a distant cousin named Isabella of Touraine, Agnes laughed very little in her childhood, and found very few jokes funny, when she turned 8 she gained a sense of laughter. Her mother began finding suitors for young Agnes. One of them was Gunther II of Anhalt-Baden, but Agnes thought Gunther was a greedy Prince. Eleanor of Aquitaine wanted Agnes to marry, so she made Agnes a part of an alliance treaty, so Agnes was bethrothed to Alexios II of Byzantine, who was very handsome, but known to be a huge player and he had a total of 57+ girlfriends.


Agnes did not really like Alexios, but she married her to satisfy her mother, Alexios's girlfriends hated Agnes and when she arrived one of them dumped a pile of cold water on her, and then beat her up, when Agnes confronted her husband about them, he strangled her, the nobles and the people loved there new Empress, one of the Nobles dared to slap the Emperor for slapping her, Alexios only wen't to bed with Agnes when he was forced, Agnes gave birth to a son in 1139, after that Agnes was imprisoned, her parents and siblings were never notifyed. Agnes was once stabbed in the chest by her husband in an attempt to get rid of her, but blade only cut her outer skin, and never her heart. Agnes's ladies in waiting were boiled in pots in front of her. But Agnes was still a pious woman and even when tourtured, she still promoted the religion, Agnes also hate the idea of crusading, she found no need to opress Islamic groups, and when she wen't on her first crusade she calmed down the Islamic invaders and helped them get revenge on there cruel leaders.


Agnes again hated the idea of killing people, and never killed anyone in her whole life, she pretended to kill others, but even in her great fury, she never killed anyone, her husband called her a "Useless Frank" because of her lack of interest in Violence. The nobles were furious on how the king treated his wife that they all organized a plan to kill the king and his mistresses, on June 29 (Also known as Slaughteress day) 31 mistresses were slaughtered and ripped apart, Alexios was wounded, but he survived, he blamed everything on his wife and imprisoned her. Which made the nobles angrier, and the people the the Empire started revolting.


Alexios blamed everything on his wife and made a plot to have her executed, Alexios was known to be a mastermind and used in for evil, he accused Agnes of having an affair with a Knight, the nobles sided with Agnes, while the remaining mistresses sided with Alexios, without a fair trail, Agnes was found guilty at 15 of adultery. Agnes did not cry, she said "I a commended to death, I will accept my fait, protect my children, tell them I love them." Agnes was the marched outside with cuts all over her body, the crowd watching tried to free Agnes, they yelled insults at the Emperor and guards. Agnes's kneeled in a praying positon, she wispered "I lord Jesus, I command my soul." After that the swordsmen chopped of her head before a crying crowd, her head was placed on a pike and the crowd was ordered to cheer, instead the crowd insulted the king for killing a pious woman, when Eleanor heard her daughter had been executed, she questioned her husband, Alexios blamed a knight for her death in order to be safe from Agnes's powerful parents. Alexios was execomunicated by the Pope in suspisoun, Alexios nevertheless remarried Zoe Katharina who was never crowned Empress as the Arch-Bishop refused to place the crown on her head, at the time only the Pope or an Arch-Bishop could crown a Consort of Monarch, but nevertheless the couple remained together until Alexios's death.

Sainthood and Martyr-hood

In 1245 Pope Innocent X venerated Agnes Saint and Martyr. The Ottoman's who also were quite fond of Agnes named her Lady of Peace and Justice, which was a-few positions after Mary, Mother of Jesus. The Orthodox named Agnes Saint Agnes of the Franks, for both religions, Agnes was a very Pious woman, her son St. Issac followed her mother's pious beliefs and also became a Saint and Martyr, and also a Virgin and Blessed.


  1. Diehl, Charles. Byzantine Empresses. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963. 257.
  2. ^ Bernardo and Salem Maragone, Annales Pisani pp. 68-9 Gentile.
  3. ^ Letter of Alexander III to Archbishop Henry of Reims, 28 February 1171 (Patrologia Latina vol. 200 column 783).
  4. ^ Annales Pisani; Ottobono, Annales Genuenses, 1179.
  5. ^ Garland. p. 5.
  6. ^ W. Regel, Fontes rerum byzantinicarum (St Petersburg, 1892-1917) p. 84.
  7. ^ For references see Alexios II Komnenos.
  8. ^ For example, Irene Doukaina, wife to Alexios I Komnenos and paternal grandmother to Manuel, was twelve years old at her marriage in 1078. Theodora Komnene, niece of Manuel and Queen consort of Baldwin III of Jerusalem, was thirteen years old at her marriage in 1158. Margaret of Hungary would marry Isaac II Angelos in 1185 when she was approximately ten years old, but this was an exceptional case, Isaac in 1185 being far from secure in his hold on power and having an urgent need for dynastic support.
  9. ^ William of Tyre, Historia Transmarina 22.4; Roger of Howden, Chronicle, year 1180.
  10. ^ Madrid MS Esc. Gr. 265 [Y.II.10] fols 368-372 (as described in G. de Andrés, Catálogo de los códices griegos de la Real Biblioteca de El Escorial Vol. 2 [Madrid, 1965] pp. 120-131).
  11. ^ For details, with references to sources, see Maria of Antioch.
  12. ^ Niketas Choniates, Histories p. 347 van Dieten.
  13. ^ Alberic of Trois-Fontaines, Chronicle 1193.
  14. ^ Alberic of Trois-Fontaines, Chronicle 1204. According to the Crusade memoir of Robert of Clari they were already married; however, Alberic's information appears more soundly based.
  15. ^ Alberic of Trois-Fontaines, Chronicle 1205 and 1235.